At TED2010, mathematics legend Benoit Mandelbrot develops a theme he first discussed at TED in 1984 -- the extreme complexity of roughness, and the way that fractal math can find order within patterns that seem unknowably complicated. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, math, TED2010, 2010
They're millions of digits long, and it takes an army of mathematicians and machines to hunt them down -- what's not to love about monster primes? Adam Spencer, comedian and lifelong math geek, shares his passion for these odd numbers, and for the mysterious magic of math. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, humor, math, TED2013, 2013
With humor and charm, mathematician Eduardo Sáenz de Cabezón answers a question that’s wracked the brains of bored students the world over: What is math for? He shows the beauty of math as the backbone of science — and shows that theorems, not diamonds, are forever. In Spanish, with English subtitles. Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, TEDx, humor, math, TEDxRiodelaPlata, 2014
In a lively show, mathemagician Arthur Benjamin races a team of calculators to figure out 3-digit squares, solves another massive mental equation and guesses a few birthdays. How does he do it? He’ll tell you. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2005, TED, Talks, education, entertainment, magic, math, performance, 2005
In keeping with the theme of TED2008, professor Stephen Hawking asks some Big Questions about our universe -- How did the universe begin? How did life begin? Are we alone? -- and discusses how we might go about answering them. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, evolution, math, physics, science, universe, TED2008, 2008
Someone always asks the math teacher, "Am I going to use calculus in real life?" And for most of us, says Arthur Benjamin, the answer is no. He offers a bold proposal on how to make math education relevant in the digital age. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2009, TED, Talks, economics, education, math, statistics, 2009
Web cartoonist Randall Munroe answers simple what-if questions ("what if you hit a baseball moving at the speed of light?") using math, physics, logic and deadpan humor. In this charming talk, a reader’s question about Google's data warehouse leads Munroe down a circuitous path to a hilariously over-detailed answer — in which, shhh, you might actually learn something. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, art, humor, math, physics, science, TED2014, 2014
From rockets to stock markets, many of humanity's most thrilling creations are powered by math. So why do kids lose interest in it? Conrad Wolfram says the part of math we teach -- calculation by hand -- isn't just tedious, it's mostly irrelevant to real mathematics and the real world. He presents his radical idea: teaching kids math through computer programming. Topics: TEDTalks, TEDGlobal 2010, TED, Talks, computers, education, math, technology, 2010
Performance poet (and math student) Harry Baker spins a love poem about his favorite kind of numbers — the lonely, love-lorn prime. Stay on for two more lively, inspiring poems from this charming performer. Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, humor, math, poetry, spoken word, TEDxExeter, 2014
Physics and marketing don't seem to have much in common, but Dan Cobley is passionate about both. He brings these unlikely bedfellows together using Newton's second law, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, the scientific method and the second law of thermodynamics to explain the fundamental theories of branding. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, business, marketing, math, physics, TEDGlobal 2010, 2010
Finding the right mate is no cakewalk — but is it even mathematically likely? In a charming talk, mathematician Hannah Fry shows patterns in how we look for love, and gives her top three tips (verified by math!) for finding that special someone. Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, love, math, statistics, TEDxBinghamtonUniversity, 2014
By analyzing raw data on violent incidents in the Iraq war and others, Sean Gourley and his team claim to have found a surprisingly strong mathematical relationship linking the fatality and frequency of attacks. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2009, TED, Talks, TED Fellows, math, physics, war, 2009
At age 12, Freeman Hrabowski marched with Martin Luther King. Now he's president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where he works to create an environment that helps under-represented students -- specifically African-American, Latino and low-income learners -- get degrees in math and science. He shares the four pillars of UMBC's approach. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, education, inequality, math, science, technology, TED2013, 2013
Math is logical, functional and just ... awesome. Mathemagician Arthur Benjamin explores hidden properties of that weird and wonderful set of numbers, the Fibonacci series. (And reminds you that mathematics can be inspiring, too!) Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, entertainment, magic, math, TEDGlobal 2013, 2013
Basketball is a fast-moving game of improvisation, contact and, ahem, spatio-temporal pattern recognition. Rajiv Maheswaran and his colleagues are analyzing the movements behind the key plays of the game, to help coaches and players combine intuition with new data. Bonus: What they're learning could help us understand how humans move everywhere. Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, math, sports, technology, visualizations, TED2015, 2015
Today's math curriculum is teaching students to expect -- and excel at -- paint-by-numbers classwork, robbing kids of a skill more important than solving problems: formulating them. At TEDxNYED, Dan Meyer shows classroom-tested math exercises that prompt students to stop and think. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, children, education, math, student, TEDxNYED, 2010
JoAnn Kuchera-Morin demos the AlloSphere, a new way to see, hear and interpret scientific data. Dive into the brain, feel electron spin, hear the music of the elements ... and detect previously unseen patterns that could lead to new discoveries. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2009, TED, Talks, art, math, science, technology, visualizations, 2009
Ready to dance in your seat? Drummer Clayton Cameron breaks down different genres of music—from R&B to Latin to pop—by their beats. A talk that proves hip hop and jazz aren't cooler than math—they simply rely on it. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, math, music, performance, TEDYouth 2013, 2013
At the 2008 EG conference, famed puzzle designer Scott Kim takes us inside the puzzle-maker's frame of mind. Sampling his career's work, he introduces a few of the most popular types, and shares the fascinations that inspired some of his best. Topics: TEDTalks, EG 2008, TED, Talks, art, computers, design, gaming, math, video, 2008
Jim Simons was a mathematician and cryptographer who realized: the complex math he used to break codes could help explain patterns in the world of finance. Billions later, he’s working to support the next generation of math teachers and scholars. TED’s Chris Anderson sits down with Simons to talk about his extraordinary life in numbers. Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, human origins, investment, math, philanthropy, physics, TED2015, 2015
Margaret Wertheim leads a project to re-create the creatures of the coral reefs using a crochet technique invented by a mathematician -- celebrating the amazements of the reef, and deep-diving into the hyperbolic geometry underlying coral creation. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, art, design, math, oceans, science, visualizations, TED2009, 2009
Accepting his 2008 TED Prize, physicist Neil Turok speaks out for talented young Africans starved of opportunity: by unlocking and nurturing the continent's creative potential, we can create a change in Africa's future. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, Africa, TED Prize, education, math, physics, science, technology, TED2008,...
Physicist Geoffrey West has found that simple, mathematical laws govern the properties of cities -- that wealth, crime rate, walking speed and many other aspects of a city can be deduced from a single number: the city's population. In this mind-bending talk from TEDGlobal he shows how it works and how similar laws hold for organisms and corporations. Topics: TEDTalks, TEDGlobal 2011, TED, Talks, biology, business, cities, complexity, math, science, 2011
Inspired by cell division, Michael Hansmeyer writes algorithms that design outrageously fascinating shapes and forms with millions of facets. No person could draft them by hand, but they're buildable -- and they could revolutionize the way we think of architectural form. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, algorithm, architecture, arts, design, math, software, TEDGlobal 2012, 2012
Robert Lang is a pioneer of the newest kind of origami -- using math and engineering principles to fold mind-blowingly intricate designs that are beautiful and, sometimes, very useful. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, art, design, engineering, math, origami, space, TED2008, 2008
Hidden truths permeate our world; they're inaccessible to our senses, but math allows us to go beyond our intuition to uncover their mysteries. In this survey of mathematical breakthroughs, Fields Medal winner Cédric Villani speaks to the thrill of discovery and details the sometimes perplexing life of a mathematician. "Beautiful mathematical explanations are not only for our pleasure," he says. "They change our vision of the world." Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, collaboration, discovery, education, history, innovation, intelligence, math,...
“The world needs you, badly,” begins celebrated biologist E.O. Wilson in his letter to a young scientist. Previewing his upcoming book, he gives advice collected from a lifetime of experience -- reminding us that wonder and creativity are the center of the scientific life. (Filmed at TEDMED.) Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, TED Prize, education, failure, math, science, storytelling, student, success,...
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita uses mathematical analysis to predict (very often correctly) such messy human events as war, political power shifts, Intifada ... After a crisp explanation of how he does it, he offers three predictions on the future of Iran. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, global issues, math, politics, prediction, technology, war, TED2009, 2009
Mathematician Steven Strogatz shows how flocks of creatures (like birds, fireflies and fish) manage to synchronize and act as a unit -- when no one's giving orders. The powerful tendency extends into the realm of objects, too. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2004, TED, Talks, biology, biomechanics, math, science, society, technology, 2004
Michael Moschen puts on a quietly mesmerizing show of juggling. Don't think juggling is an art? You might just change your mind after watching Moschen in motion. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, MacArthur grant, dance, entertainment, math, music, physics, sports, TED2002,...
Parkinson’s disease affects 6.3 million people worldwide, causing weakness and tremors, but there's no objective way to detect it early on. Yet. Applied mathematician and TED Fellow Max Little is testing a simple, cheap tool that in trials is able to detect Parkinson's with 99 percent accuracy -- in a 30-second phone call. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, disease, global issues, innovation, math, medicine, science, technology,...
Stephen Wolfram, creator of Mathematica, talks about his quest to make all knowledge computational -- able to be searched, processed and manipulated. His new search engine, Wolfram Alpha, has no lesser goal than to model and explain the physics underlying the universe. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, biology, complexity, computers, math, physics, science, simplicity, TED2010,...
Filmmaker David Hoffman shares footage from his feature-length documentary Sputnik Mania, which shows how the Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik in 1957 led to both the space race and the arms race -- and jump-started science and math education around the w Topics: TEDTalks, TED2007, TED, Talks, education, history, math, politics, science, short talk, space,...
What can mathematics say about history? According to TED Fellow Jean-Baptiste Michel, quite a lot. From changes to language to the deadliness of wars, he shows how digitized history is just starting to reveal deep underlying patterns. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, history, language, literature, math, science, TED2012, 2012
Evan Grant demonstrates the science and art of cymatics, a process for making soundwaves visible. Useful for analyzing complex sounds (like dolphin calls), it also makes complex and beautiful designs. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, design, math, presentation, science, visualizations, TEDGlobal 2009, 2009
'I am a mathematician, and I would like to stand on your roof.' That is how Ron Eglash greeted many African families he met while researching the fractal patterns he’d noticed in villages across the continent. Topics: TEDTalks, TEDGlobal 2007, TED, Talks, Africa, architecture, culture, design, education, math,...
The world turns on symmetry -- from the spin of subatomic particles to the dizzying beauty of an arabesque. But there's more to it than meets the eye. Here, Oxford mathematician Marcus du Sautoy offers a glimpse of the invisible numbers that marry all symmetrical objects. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, architecture, art, beauty, math, physics, universe, TEDGlobal 2009, 2009
How much land mass would renewables need to power a nation like the UK? An entire country's worth. In this pragmatic talk from TEDxWarwick, David MacKay tours the basic mathematics that show worrying limitations on our sustainable energy options and explains why we should pursue them anyway. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, TEDxFeatured, alternative energy, climate change, data, global issues, math,...